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Let's eat.

From Big Sur's killer cliff-clinging eateries to Salinas' unparalleled produce, this blog aims to sniff out all things Monterey County can stomach, via picture and prose, curiosity and appetite, hand and mouth.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Because It's Not a Road Trip Without In N Out

I’d like to believe in free will. But every time I go on a road trip, I get a tasty reminder that my fate isn’t so much my own to manage, because I inevitably end up at the only chain I frequent, a little place you may have heard of called In N Out.

A recent visit inspired me to contact In N Out headquarters to get the real deal on the off-the-menu items I hadn’t figured out yet. As it turns out, I had no idea what a "Flying Dutchman" existed, let alone what it might be.

On this roadie, I tested two new off-the-menu ideas (while only temporarily abandoning my long-ago-established classic "secrets," the grilled cheese with grilled onions and the animal-style fries).

First up: fries cooked to order, like a burger. (The In N Out rep at headquarters said they can do well-done/extra crispy, "light well" and "light," salt-free and with just cheese, in addition to the grilled-onion-cheese-and-special-sauce animal-style approach).

I felt a little diva-like ordering "medium well" fries until the sunny young lady replied, "Medium well done well done or lightly medium well"?

I took the former (pictured above on the left, compared to standard issue on the right). I don't think I'll order any other way from here forward—they're crispier and more flavorful thanks to bonus sizzle and grease time. The road trippers with me unanimously agreed.

I also soaked up a Neopolitan shake. I'll never have to choose between the vanilla, chocolate or strawberry seduction again. It's even better than the strawberry-chocolate combo.

Also, to stem the boring cascade of ketchup, I asked for some special sauce they put on animal style items and got a couple of packets (above right). Just what some medium well well fries needed.

For more on the secret menu and developments at the Seaside In N Out to be, check out my post from earlier this year.